Monday, March 29, 2010

Ear, Nose and Throat Update

We take David to see his ear, nose and throat doctor regularly. At his last checkup, we learned that David's ear tubes were ready to be replaced. His day surgery was scheduled for early Wednesday morning, March 17.

We arrived at the hospital bright and early for check in. David was still sleeping (he is a little night owl!) when we changed him into his yellow hospital jammies. After speaking to the anesthesiologist and the fellow doctor, we gave David hugs and kisses and they took him into surgery.

In the waiting room, Jeremy and I made phone calls to update our family. Since David has had several surgeries already, waiting rooms are very familiar places. Nervousness is inevitable. However, I think the waiting is different for every surgery. This time the ENT doctor would scope his vocal cords to see if they had healed or if they were still closed. We have been praying for the spontaneous healing of David's vocal cord paralysis, so the news was highly anticipated.

A couple of hours later, David was out of surgery and we were ready to see our "Wittle Bids." It was such a relief to see him, and also surprising because he was so alert. David was in his little hospital bed, as awake as could be, hooked up to his monitor and receiving oxygen.

The first to talk to us about the procedure was the fellow doctor. We received surprising news. The surgery went smoothly, but they found a very large granuloma in David's trachea. This type of tissue growth is normal for individuals with tracheostomies. The size, on the other hand, was quite large. "Deliver" was the term mentioned in regard to its removal. When I saw the photo of it, I thought the measurement was in millimeters. I thought wrong. Try centimeters. Here are the photos:

The thumb-size tissue that was removed from David's airway

The granuloma before removal, located just below the vocal cords

David's vocal cords

After surgery (tracheostomy tube is visible)

As we waited for the ENT doctor, I fed David, we talked to the nurses, and took turns holding our "Bids." He weaned from the oxygen very quickly and was completely off of it within about 30 minutes. Soon, the doctor arrived and told us about the granuloma, and that the ear tube procedure was fine. He found a little fluid in each ear and let us know that David's hearing will be better now that it has been addressed. Then he answered the burning question. The vocal cords were still paralyzed.

I know that it is highly unlikely that spontaneous healing of paralyzed vocal cords can occur after one year of age. I knew the chances of hearing that they had healed were slim. I also know that God has blessed us in many ways. I still believe it can happen. Corrective surgery can be done, but I choose to believe that God can heal David and keep him from another surgery.

In the meantime, there was another surprise. We found out that with the removal of the granuloma, David's voice is now audible every once in a while. It is now helping David express his needs and emotions and become more interactive. It is helping us to work with him in his therapies. It is wonderful to hear!

Special thanks to Kayla, for helping out during your Spring Break, and to Emily for helping me with my technical difficulties on this post! Also, thanks to all for praying for David during his surgery. It is much appreciated!!

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